Many working to keep city headed in the right direction

Do you believe you can learn and grow or are you sure the intelligence and talent you currently have are as good as it gets?

Before I venture briefly down this thought, though, how about some of my week?

Recently, we took a chance and rounded up some sponsors to hold an event on the newest phase of Burkart Boulevard before it opened to traffic. We spent a few hours allowing walkers, bikers and whoever wanted to check it out to have full use of our newest road. It was a chance to see the work that went into the project up close and personal. Around 100 people from our community took us up on the offer and had some fun.

They also had a chance to discover the people trail that runs along the corridor and that it is good for workouts even after the road opened to traffic the next day. Thanks to the FOP for grilling hot dogs and making snow cones, thank you to Milestone Contractors and HWC Engineering for sponsoring and thank you to January Rutherford with the city for organizing a fun event for our community.

This event led us into the next day when we cut the ribbon for Burkart Boulevard to open for vehicle traffic. We stood above the Louisville and Indiana Railroad for the opening and enjoyed waiting on a train to pass below us to start the event.

Since then, many of us at the city have been making random passes and are seeing traffic already adjusting to the ease of access to the South O’Brien Street area. This opening does more than just open a roadway. It also opens an area of growth for our community.

This is one of many projects to improve the southeast and south areas of our community. The southeast interceptor project allowed more sewer capacity in the area. The opportunity zone that was established a few years ago encourages development and now, Burkart Boulevard should allow growth to happen with more ease than before.

I recently had a chance to visit with Paw Pride from Margaret R. Brown Elementary School to talk about community spirit. We chatted about several areas they could get involved with both in and outside the school and came up with some good options for the group to explore. We then ended the session with some arm wrestling. I believe they are now confident that as a group they can accomplish great things for our community and beyond. Thank you, Mrs. Patterson and Mrs. Rigsby for the invite to speak to our future.

Today’s opening question refers to a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Seymour recently was awarded almost $900,000 to do road work on our city streets.

While I wasn’t sure we would receive any funds during this Community Crossings Matching Grant cycle, I was sure that as a team, we needed to grow our strengths in the area of the application. I believed we needed to be ready for the first cycle of CCMG in 2022, and this was the best way to get our efforts reviewed for the next round.

We spent several meetings and countless hours tweaking the application, followed by questions to Kayti Adams with the Indiana Department of Transportation to help us have a better understanding.

When it was all said and done, I believe we grew as a team, and I can’t thank Michelle Gossett, Bernie Hauersperger and Chad Dixon from the city side enough. Their work on growing, along with knowledge shared from the team at INDOT, helps us keep Seymour headed in the right direction. This section could have been considerably shorter if we would have had a fixed mindset and said it is what it is and applied again in 2022.

Hopefully, I have sparked a curiosity to do a search about “Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset.” Even if not, I will still leave you with some words from John Wooden: “You have to apply yourself each day to becoming a little better. By becoming a little better each and every day, over a period of time, you will become a lot better.”

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to [email protected]